Pursuing A Career In Occupational Therapy
This Page will give you information about
4. Educational Requirements
5. Other Requirements
6. Personal Qualities Important for this profession
7. A Typical Day in Occupational Therapist's Life
8. Pros & Cons of this Profession
Pursuing A Career In Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapists (OTs) are health professionals who are responsible for helping patients regain their ability to perform daily living and work activities. Their patients have generally lost these abilities because of mental, physical or developmentally or emotionally disabling conditions. To know more about Occupational Therapy the reader is referred to previous page.
There is increasing thrust on the rehabilitation of physically and mentally disabled persons in recent times. Many professionals are required in this area. Thus Occupational Therapy has good job demand in India especially in privet sector than government settings.
In Central Government Sector
In many national Institutes, many ESI hospitals, De-fence Hospitals,are having Occupational therapy Units & Services.
Some prominent Central Government Institutes with OT services and or Education.
- All India Institute of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (AIIPM&R)
- Swami Vivekananda National Institute of Rehabilitation Training & Research (SV-NIRTAR)
- National Institute for Orthopedically Handicapped (NIOH)
- National Institute for Mentally Handicapped & Neuro Science (NIMHANS)
- Other few Central Govt Institutes with OT services are AIISH, NIMPED, AIIMS, JIPMER, IPH Delhi etc
There is lot of job opportunities in the private sector. The Job settings include Acute care Hospitals, Special School, Mental Asylums/Hospitals, Various Clinics like Child Psychiatry Clinic,
A qualified, registered Occupational Therapist can do Private practice (Home visits). He/She can even start OT clinics also.
The awareness about Occupational Theray & its services among common people are relatively less in Kerala when compare to other states. There is no OT colleges in Kerala. But there are few government OT posts and quiet a lot private OT posts are there in Kerala.
In State Government Sector
- In Government Medical Colleges at Trivandrum (4 posts), Calicut (3 Posts) Thrissur (1 Post) Occupational therapists are working from last~25 years.
- In Kuthiravattom Mental Health Hospital, Oolampara Mental Hospital also has one OT post.
- Recently PSC called for OT Vacancy
- In ESI hospital (Under Central Govt) Kochi also have an OT unit. Recently ESI called 4 posts in Kerala.
Employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase much faster (about 26%) than the average for all occupations through 2018 (in USA & Australia) There is a high job demand existing for this profession in foreign countries like USA , Australia, Canada, Singapore, (please follow the hyper links for more details).
In India there is no such official statistics are available. But the current trend shows a good demand of occupational therapy professionals in India, especially in private sector. A similar trend is existing in Government sector also but not so much like in private sector. [@ ESI Hospitals, Military hospitals, Medical Colleges managed by state governments, Govt. Mental Hospital etc..]
==> Over all it is clear that the demand for Occupational Therapists should continue to rise as a result of the increasing number of individuals with disabilities or limited function who require therapy services. In addition, medical advances now enable more patients with critical problems to survive—patients who ultimately may need extensive therapy.
Salary in Govt. Sector:
In central government set up, the salary is based on pay band II of 6th pay commission. (i.e., 6500-10500 + grade pay 4600. For lecturers 7450-11500 + grade pay 4600). Where as in State government running colleges of Occupational Therapy, the teaching staffs are getting salary based on UGC scale (eg. In Maharashtra state Govt. OT Colleges like KEMH Parel, TNMC Mumbai Central etc..) but this is not present in Central government running OT Colleges (eg. In AIIPMR Mumbai-34).
Salary in private sector:
An Occupational Therapy fresher candidate with graduation (BOT) degree in OT can earn from 10,000 to 15,000/month. In addition to this one can earn by seeing private cases.
An Occupational Therapy fresher candidate with Post graduation (MOT) degree in OT can earn from 20,000 to 25,000/month. In addition to this one can earn by seeing private cases.
- Singapore and Malaysia 75,000- 1, 00,000/month
- Middle East countries: 80000 and above.
- USA , Australia, Canada, ,: 1.5 lakh- 3-4 lakhs/ month.
In 2009 occupational therapists earned a median annual salary of $69,630.
One must earn a degree in occupational therapy (BOT - Bachelor in Occupational Therapy) or a Master Degree in Occupational Therapy - MOT (After BOT) to work as an occupational therapist.
- BOT : 4 1/2 years (full time) includes 4 years of academic training and 6 Months of Internship training.
- MOT/MOTh : 2 or 3 years (See below for more details)
Curriculum of Bachelor in Occupational Therapy (BOT):
First Two Years comprise of - Basic Medical subjects (like Medical Anatomy, Physiology, psychology, sociology, Microbiology, Pathology, General medicine & Surgery, Clinical Neurology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics etc..)
The last 2 years comprise of Application of Occupational Therapy in Neuroscience, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, cancer Rehabilitation, Industrial Rehabilitation, Ergonomics, Environmental Modification, Splinting and Research. (Student must complete one dissertation during the period of study-usually in Final Year or during Internship)
Do You Need to Know About Curriculum?
Curriculum of Master's in Occupational Therapy (MOT/MOTh):
MOT & MOTh are indicating same degree "Masters in Occupational Therapy". The later abbreviation is using in colleges under Maharashtra University of health sciences (MUHS).
- MOT : 2 years
- MOTh : 3 Years
- Master's in Neuroscience
- Master's in Developmental Disabilities / Pediatrics
- Master's in Musculoskeletal Sciences / Orthopedics
- Master's in Mental Health / Psychiatry
- Master's in Community Based Rehabilitation
- Master's in Hand Therapy
- Master's in Rehabilitation
Availability of these specialities in different states of India is different. It is depending up on the various universities. For more information about syllabus & List of colleges you may please vist to next page "OT Colleges in INDIA"
In the India Occupational Therapists must be registered in AIOTA - All India Occupational Therapist's Association. To obtain a registration, applicants must graduate from an accredited educational program and he/she needs to apply for the same in AIOTA. For more details about AIOTA please this link.
To know list of accredited educational colleges under AIOTA, you may plese visit next page "OT COLLEGES IN INDIA"
Which qualities or personal traits are useful in practicing occupational therapy?
Aptitudes and interests that may be helpful include an interest in health care, a desire to help people and make a difference in their lives, compassion, sensitivity, problem-solving and communication skills.
Traits ranked on a scale of 1-5; 5 being 'very important' and 1 being 'not important'.
- Creativity 4
- Physically demanding 4
- Ability to handle pressure 3
- Communication skills 5
- Academic challenge 4
- Precision and skill 3
- Business acumen 2
Pros and Cons of the profession
- An important reward is the satisfaction of helping a disabled person to lead a normal and independent life. Thus this profession is ideal for those seeking fulfillment.
- There is increasing thrust on the rehabilitation of physically and mentally disabled persons in recent times. Many professionals are required in this area.
- Lots of job opportunities in Abroad for qualified Occupational therapist with good Salary. CNN Money ranked occupational therapy number 9 as a booming job with big opportunities, and number 19 as a best job in America.Forbes ranked occupational therapy number 10 for best-paying jobsfor women and number 14 for fastest-growing jobs for women. (Read more)
- A key challenge for occupational therapy is to develop and maintain a definition of its nature and scope assert that while this presents a challenge, it also results in a unique flexibility which allows the discipline to move with the flow of social, cultural and environmental change. This difficulty in definition may be a cause of chronic strain for practitioners and may also contribute to a lack of role definition and subsequent blurring.
- This field of Para medicine is still new to many in India especially in Kerala, even among other health care professionals.
- Generally this line of treatment is time consuming and the procedure can be tiring if the awareness level of patients is less.(Read more)
A Day in an Occupational Therapist's Life:
On a typical day an occupational therapist will:
- Assist clients in performing activities of all types;
- Use physical exercises to help patients increase strength and dexterity;
- Use activities to help patients improve visual acuity and the ability to discern patterns;
- Use computer programs to help clients improve decision-making, abstract-reasoning, problem-solving, memory, sequencing, coordination, and perceptual skills;
- Design or make special equipment needed at home or at work;
- Develop computer-aided adaptive equipment and teach clients with severe limitations how to use that equipment in order to communicate better and control various aspects of their environment;